Buying mens suits can be a confusing and intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. With so many cuts, styles, colors, and patterns to choose from. It’s no wonder many men deem this a chore at best. Suit buying should not be work. It should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, if you go into the process with little or no information, it is easy to become overwhelmed. But don’t worry, I will show you everything you need to know about mens suits.
What are all the options when it comes to mens suits? First there is chest size 38, 40, 42…. Then are you a long, regular, or short? Now that you have the right size, should it be single or double breasted, two piece or is a three piece suit more your style. What about buttons, is two or three best. There are different fabrics from the classic wool suit to linen, cotton, and synthetic suits. Then color blue, black, grey, brown.
Patterns…pinstripes, chalk stripes, windowpane, glen plaid, herringbone. If you are ready to scream, don’t worry all this will make sense shortly.
The Cut and Fit
Let’s get started, the first and most important thing about buying a suit is FIT. Your suit should drape well and make you feel like a million bucks. The key here is a trim and tailored fit.
The sack suit is a mens suit that is favored by American business professionals. This suit is loose fitting and does little flatter a man’s body. British suits taper much closer to the body line have minimal shoulder padding, they are usually double vented (vents being the slits in the back). Italian suits are less tapered with heavily padded shoulder and a center vent.
With these three options in mind, it is my opinion that the British style flatters the wearer the most. Feel free to make your own decision.
Now that we now the style of suit we want, let’s look at exactly how to get the numbers. The first number you will need is your chest size. Wrap your tape measure around your chest near your nipple line. Make sure it goes over your shoulder blades. This number will be the number of your jacket size (e.i. 38S). Your jacket length will be determined by your height.
- Short- 5’7″ and under
- Regular- 5’8″ to 5’11″
- Long- 6’0″ and taller
The last bit of sizing info you may need is your “drop”. Drop refers to the difference between your jacket size and your trouser size. For instance if you wear a 38S jacket and a 32 trouser you have a 6 inch drop. Six inches of drop is the industry standard for suits if you don’t fit this standard you may need to have your trousers tailored.
Speaking of tailors, unless you are one of the lucky souls who is the perfect size for ready to wear suits, you will most likely need tailoring. Jackets can be tapered or let out, the sleeves shortened or lengthened, and your pants let out or taken in. When it comes to picking a tailor take your time, look diligently, and ask for references.
There are many options and variations when we it comes to your jackets. The first and most obvious choice is whether you want single or double breasted jacket and the number of buttons you prefer. A 2 button single breasted jacket is a classic and as such never goes out of style. The three button single breasted is a more contemporary version that works best on taller men. The double breasted version is considered the more conservative of the three and its popularity has waxed and waned over the years.
Another option is your lapel style, there are basically three options. The first and most popular is the notch lapel, this style is found on most single breasted jackets. Next is the peak lapel recently the peak lapel has made a comeback. The peak lapel is bigger in size and usually found on double breasted jackets though it has been showing up on single breasted jackets more and more. Finally,we have the shawl lapel this is the lapel that is found on classic cut tuxedos.
To complement your suit, we recommend being well groomed, a typical man should be either clean shaven or have a neatly trimmed beard. We recommend visiting zedcut.com for your grooming needs.
Your suits style, size, and cut have all been chosen, now all that is left is color. When buying your first mens suits it is best to go with classic more conservative colors and cuts. Pairing these suits with different shirts and tie combinations gives them more versatility, giving the illusion that you have more suits than you do.
Typically speaking your first two mens suits should be a solid navy blue or charcoal suit. These two colors offer the most bang for buck. You can pair them with many different shirts and tie combos and they work equally well for business or evening. A common mistake that many first time suit buyers make is purchasing a black suit. A black suit is typically reserved as evening attire. The severe look of black also lends it more towards the formal side of things. If you are looking for a dark suit, charcoal is your color of choice.
After getting your first two suits your next can be a little more daring. If you wanted to go for a lighter gray or a khaki now would be the time. With three solid colored suits purchased you are in a good spot, now is the time to pick up that black suit we talked about.
If you peak into your closet and are less than thrilled with the monochromatic solid suits it may be time to look at patterns.
Once you have your solids covered it is time to move on to pattern. Now is the time to express yourself with your suit. Want to portray a powerful businessman goes with pinstripes.Is style-savvy fashion player more your style go with a windowpane. Want to look vintage and distinguished? Maybe you go-to: http://www.votegeorgeross.com/mens-accessories-something-extra/
Below I have given you a few examples of just a few of the most popular examples of patterns you can find in mens suits. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will give you an idea of what is out there and what to expect.
There we go, hopefully that wrung most of the mystery out of buying mens suits. If you feel overwhelmed step back take a few breathes and remember they are just clothes. Buying a suit is a rewarding experience and wearing one can make you feel like the most important guy in the room, and what is better than that. Now get out there and get one.